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Addressing Depression

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Symptoms of depression:

1) Depressed mood: Feelings of discouragement, worthlessness, helplessness, pessimism for most of the day, for days.

2) Problems with sleep. Difficulty falling asleep, difficulty sleeping through the night, or sleeping too much.

3) Fatigue/Lethargy. Feeling tired, weak, and having low energy.

4) Isolation. Withdrawing from friends, family, and social interactions.

5) Change in appetite. Eating a lot more even after you are full or skipping meals because you're not hungry.

6) Difficulty concentrating. Can't focus and complete routine tasks.

7) Low self-esteem. Feeling inadequate, inferior, not good enough, or excessive feelings of guilt, shame, regret, and remorse.

8) Loss of pleasure in activities that you once found pleasure in.

Helpful steps to take to address symptoms of depression:

1) Exercise. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

2) Social support. Reach out to friends and family. Start by sharing facts of the day. What you did, what you ate. Join a group, class, or volunteer.

3) Initiate tasks. Patterns of procrastination can contribute to frustration and discouragement. Harness your energy and focus on starting the task you want to engage with.

4) Cognitive restructuring. Identity negative thoughts. Challenge them, and reframe them with a more balanced thought. Instead of thinking, "I am a failure", you can think, "I can learn from this."

5) Process your emotions. Get a notebook to write down your emotions. Take time to write out what you are feeling and the reasons why you feel that way. One explanation of depression is, "Depression is anger turned within". So identify what you are angry about and express it.

6) Plan meals. Make a list of meals and a grocery list of the ingredients.

7) Sleep hygiene. Set a bed time. Turn off your screens/devices. Try making changes to the lighting, background noise, temperature, blanket, pillow. Limit naps to 15 minutes.

8) Learn and practice coping skills to stay grounded when you face negative situations. Take deep breaths, positive affirmations, remove yourself from the situation, ask for help, give yourself a break.

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